ACG National Capital chapter members and regular readers of Corporate Growth, Capital Style well appreciate that the government contracting market is not only incredibly crowded, but extremely competitive.
Successful businesses in this market need to move with agility to meet the changing needs of government customers while also making sure that they can compete with all comers on price and value for that price. Therefore, growing organically in spite of these considerations presents a worthy challenge to even the most able of business leaders.
Growing organically despite those challenges is what lead ACG National Capital to award Amyx this year’s Corporate Growth Award in the Corporate Growth Company of the Year ($25M-$75M) category. With “tremendous 40 percent year-over-year growth” over the past few years, the Amyx team has shown how a small business can succeed – indeed, thrive – in this incredibly crowded and competitive marketplace.
To learn more about how Amyx achieved such growth, we recently spoke with CEO Satya Akula, who gave us insights into some of the most critical factors that have propelled the company to success. Among these, he included a disciplined adherence to the company’s strategic plan, pursuing powerful indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity government-wide acquisition contracts, and smart investments in their own personnel and internal processes. All of which has contributed to an efficiency and a capacity that has primed the company to drive growth.
Here is what he had to say:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): Tell us a little bit about Amyx. Does the company only serve government customers, or other industries as well? What solutions does the company provide?
Satya Akula: Amyx, Inc. is solely focused on serving government customers in the Defense and Federal Civilian markets. Our mission is to provide best-in-class services that ultimately help to better protect our warfighters and our nation, as well as enhance government services to our citizens. Amyx’s services and capabilities are delivered by a workforce of exceptional professionals backed by advanced degrees with industry-recognized certifications. Our employees are driven by a passion to solve some of the world’s most complex technological challenges, including dark web cyber intelligence mining, infrastructure virtualization, legacy systems modernization, and data analytics.
CGCS: The company has six core capabilities and service offerings. Which of these service offerings are in most demand right now? What overarching trends are we seeing in the government that are contributing to that?
Satya Akula: Over the past six years, we have heavily invested in Cybersecurity and Enterprise Technology Services to ensure that our workforce is aligned with the pace of innovation in these areas.
For example, we have a long history of supporting logistics modernization efforts across the Department of Defense (DoD). As we helped lead many of these projects, we also quickly discovered the immense challenges our customers had with modernizing their infrastructure. This ranged from warehouse operations, to the systems that they relied on to perform their day-to-day logistics activities, to the data centers that the systems were hosted in.
However, as these activities became more IoT-connected, it also introduced more cybersecurity risks. For example, we helped our customers understand that something as simple as a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat can have catastrophic impacts if it is accessed inappropriately. These types of vulnerabilities are precisely what we’re helping our customers inventory, assess, and remedy before they become issues.
As a result, Amyx has emerged as a market leader in helping organizations address risks and vulnerabilities in their Industrial Control Systems (ICS)/ Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Not only have we helped them become more secure, but we’ve also helped them comply with standards such as Risk Management Framework (RMF) and the NIST controls.
Within our Enterprise Technology Services practice, we are bringing new approaches to systems modernization using Low Code/No Code platform technology, which is helping accelerate the time to deploy and enhancing decision support. The other critical piece, however, is using new development approaches like DevSecOps and tools like low code platforms to build applications much faster. Amyx is heavily investing in these areas and our customers have responded very positively.
Cloud Migration is another area that we’ve helped our customers adopt using some innovative practices that significantly minimize the migration timeline while still addressing all of the critical cybersecurity standards. Finally, several of our customers have turned to us to help them adopt AI/ML to enhance the intelligence they gain from their technology. For example, we work with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide High Performance Computing and ML capabilities that can identify potential patterns of fraudulent activity performed on the Exchanges. Using HPC and ML predictive models, we help the SEC maintain the integrity of the market and protect investors
CGCS: Last year, your company was awarded numerous task orders from across the Department of Defense. What differentiates Amyx in the competitive and crowded government consulting industry? What about the company has positioned it to win these task orders against larger government contracting companies?
Satya Akula: We had a tremendous 40%+ YoY growth for the last few years. There are two reasons for this growth.
First, we had a strong focus on our strategic plan—never losing sight nor deviating from our long-term goals and acquiring indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity government-wide acquisition contracts (GWAC/IDIQs) that address the needs of current and prospective customers.
Second, we invested heavily in ourselves. That is, we put resources into back-end office infrastructure that helps us capitalize on growth opportunities, like strategic leadership hires and HR and accounting and automating labor-intensive activities, but we also put those resources back into our employee base. By paying for certifications, advanced degrees, and other trainings, we are ensuring that they are constantly learning and bringing that knowledge in to help our customers.
Many companies struggle with the challenges of competing in the full and open market, but Amyx is very proud of our success to date. Every day we show our customers that we’re investing in top talent, applying their expertise to solve tough problems, and never wavering from attention to detail, which is not just from our Program Managers and leads, but also from the executive team. Every level of the company, from the CEO to the staff, is committed to the success of our customers. When combined with the automation we’ve adopted to remain price competitive, Amyx is tough to beat.
CGCS: Amyx was awarded a Corporate Growth Award in 2019. Has the company’s growth strategy been entirely focused on organic growth? Has the company pursued other forms of growth – including mergers or acquisitions – to help it grow faster? Why was this growth strategy the correct one for the company?
Satya Akula: As a privately held company, Amyx has always been focused on growing organically.
Unlike other large and private equity-backed companies, we don’t have pressure to meet aggressive growth plans. We strongly believe organic growth is the best return on investment because it gives us the full authority to make decisions quickly and in the best interests of our clients and employees.
That agility has been a major discriminator for us. When market conditions start to change or we foresee emerging needs within our customer base, decisions can be made within a matter of days—or even hours. Time to market is something we do very well at Amyx and has been a big contributor to our organic growth.
Another key ingredient in growing organically is access to GWAC/IDIQs. We’ve had a lot of success on vehicles such as GSA’s OASIS Pool 1 (Small Business), DLA’s J6 Enterprise Technology Services (JETS), and we are excited about our recent award of the DISA ENCORE 3 Small Business vehicle. We are now actively involved in the OASIS on-ramp efforts.
So, while we are not an active acquirer of companies, we are interested in acquiring GWAC/IDIQ vehicles and potentially very niche technology companies.
CGCS: What does the future look like for Amyx? We’ve seen incredible consolidation within the government contracting and government consulting industry in the past few years. Is the company considering any mergers or acquisitions further down the line to supplement its growth?
Satya Akula: As I noted above, our focus on our strategic plan is one of the many reasons for our success. While we periodically review it to make sure it is appropriate for where the company is going, it guides everything we do at Amyx. In addition to investing in technology and innovation, our strategic plan is fundamentally built upon taking care of our customers and building our workforce.
Amyx is also guided by a strong Board of Directors that have a wide range of experience in very large government contracting firms, customer bases, and service offerings. Many of our members have also been through mergers and acquisitions, so we understand the market; however, focusing on our strategic plan has brought us a lot of success and we remain committed to it.